Top Picks

Highland Park 12 Year Old Impressions


What is it? 

Distillery: Highland Park, Orkney, Scotland
Name: 12 Year Old
Make: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Extra Info: Highland Park malts 20% of its own barley requirements and burns peat in its kiln sourced locally from Hobbister Moor. Trees have never grown on Orkney, therefore the peat deposits consist solely of partially decomposed low-growing vegetation such as native heather. It is for this reason that Orkney peat has such a unique aroma when burnt.

Why did I buy it?

I bought this as both an introduction to Highland Park and whisky from the Orkney Isles in general. I wanted to try another peated whisky from outside of Islay and the flagship Highland Park 12 Year Old seemed the logical choice.

What did I think of it?

Presentation: The Highland Park 12 Year Old is a very attractive package. It comes bottled in a clear glass oval cross-section bottle rather than a more traditional circular cross-section. There is embossing on both the front and back of the bottle and a Highland Park logo pressed into the stopper cap. I love the look of the black label with white and silver lettering and an orange strip across the bottom. It looks clean, modern and classy all at the same time.

Appearance: Light gold in colour with the assistance of added e150 caramel colouring and chill-filtration. Bottled at 40% ABV.

Aroma: Faint whiff of smoke, hint of pine perhaps.

Flavour: Light, some sweetness, faint spice.

Finish: Medium length, drying smoke.

Would I buy it again?

No, I struggled to get much out of this whisky at all. I had to resort to reading other tasting notes just to get a hint of what I may be smelling or tasting. The common theme was heather and honey and I have to admit that I am not familiar with what wild heather smells like, so it is difficult for me to make that comparison. That said, I am familiar with honey and I could not detect either a noticeable honey aroma or flavour in this whisky. The smoke was the dominant element here, but it wasn't particularly strong like a peaty Islay malt, it was just the easiest part of the flavour profile to detect. I am keen to sample other whiskies from Highland Park but I found the 12 Year Old to be quite light and insipid.

Disclaimer: I do not claim to have the nose and palate of a Master Sommelier, however, I am working to train my senses to better identify whisky aromas and flavours. Consider all my whisky 'Impressions' to be a work in progress and I hope to come back to each of them in the future to see if I notice anything different. Most importantly, I'm not just throwing around random aromas, flavours and adjectives for the hell of it; I am trying really hard to critically describe each whisky I taste - WhiskyDad.


0 Response to "Highland Park 12 Year Old Impressions"

Post a Comment

Powered by Blogger.